US confirms IS used chemical rocket in attack on troops in Iraq

A rocket launched by Islamic State militants at American troops based in Iraq did contain a mustard agent, the US military has confirmed.

No-one was hurt in Tuesday’s attack on the Qayyarah air base near the IS stronghold of Mosul.

Marine Gen Joseph Dunford, chairman of US joint chiefs of staff, said the group’s capability to deliver chemical weapons was rudimentary.

But the attack, he added, was a “concerning development”.

IS has long been suspected of making and using crude chemical weapons in Iraq and Syria, where it also controls territory.

Gen Dunford told the US Senate armed services committee on Thursday that the rocket had contained a “sulphur-mustard blister agent”.

Mustard agent in sufficient quantities can maim or kill by damaging skin, eyes and airways.

Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city, has been under IS control for the past two years and the battle to retake it is expected to begin in the coming weeks.

US troops are providing assistance to local forces as they prepare for the offensive.

 

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Turkish Tanks Cross Into Syria in ‘New Phase’ Against ISIS — TIME

(ISTANBUL) — Turkish tanks crossed into Syria to the west of a frontier town seized from ISIS last week, in a “new phase” of an operation aimed at sealing off the last stretch of border controlled by the extremists. By nightfall, Syrian rebels backed by the Turkish forces seized seven villages from ISIS, according to…

via Turkish Tanks Cross Into Syria in ‘New Phase’ Against ISIS — TIME

Where the War on Terror Lives Forever — Foreign Policy

Uzbekistan’s dictator is dead, but his brutal efforts to crush Islamist extremism leave a long and ugly legacy. And Washington will be left cleaning up the mess.

via Where the War on Terror Lives Forever — Foreign Policy

Malaysian Police Say They Foiled an Independence Day Terror Attack by ISIS — TIME

Malaysia narrowly thwarted terrorist attacks shortly before the country marked its 59th Independence Day, police said on Wednesday, thanks to the detention of three individuals believed to be affiliated with the Islamic State (ISIS) extremist group. The alleged militants had planned to attack multiple sites in the capital, Kuala Lumpur, including a popular Hindu temple…

via Malaysian Police Say They Foiled an Independence Day Terror Attack by ISIS — TIME

Islamic State claims Aden bombing — MEMENEWS.ME

GET THE FULL STORY photo: By Jialiang Gao http://www.peace-on-earth.org – Original Photograph, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1426700

via Islamic State claims Aden bombing — MEMENEWS.ME

Philippines: IS-linked Maute group inmates freed in ‘raid’

Source: BBC

Eight Islamic militants linked to so-called Islamic State (IS) have been freed from jail in the Philippines in an apparently “staged raid”.

Police said at least 20 fighters from the Maute group had turned up at the Lanao del Sur jail in the southern city of Marawi, but no shots had been fired.

A military source told the BBC they believed the men had been allowed to escape.

The militants were held last week after being caught with homemade mortars.

At least 15 other inmates – who faced murder and drugs charges – also walked free, but it is not clear whether this was agreed.

The Maute group has carried out several bombings and kidnappings in the southern Mindanao region.

The Philippines has faced separatist movements for decades in Mindanao, which is majority Muslim – the rest of the Philippines is mainly Catholic.

The Maute group carries the black flag and insignia of IS, and has attacked army troops, beheaded a soldier and beheaded two local workers earlier this year.

The militants kidnapped the two workers and made them wear orange shirts similar to those worn by IS beheading victims before they were killed.

Several armed groups in the Philippines have pledged allegiance to IS, although the country’s military says there is no evidence of active co-operation with foreign militants.

Bangladesh Police Kill Nine Suspected Militants

(NEW DELHI) — Police in Bangladesh’s capital raided a five-story building Tuesday and killed nine suspected Islamic militants, the country’s police chief said. Inspector General of Police A.K.M. Shahidul Hoque said the raid took place in Dhaka’s Kalyanpur area and one suspect was arrested and was being treated for injuries in a hospital. Hoque said…

via Bangladesh Police Kill Nine Suspected Militants — TIME